NASA builds a giant oxygen tank for the lunar expedition

NASA engineers have completed the manufacture of one of the main components of the SLS rocket, which will be used in the Artemis III mission. We are talking about a tank for liquid oxygen.

The liquid oxygen tank of the SLS rocket. Source: NASA/Michael DeMocker

The liquid oxygen tank is part of the first stage of the SLS. Its length is 15.3 meters. It stores oxygen, which is used as an oxidizer for four RS-25 engines. The tank was manufactured by specialists from the  Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. Its welding was completed on January 8.

As for the liquid oxygen tank, it is already ready. After welding was completed, it was transported to the Vertical Assembly Building for internal cleaning and priming. It is performed using an automated robotic tool. After priming, specialists will cover the tank with a special foam, which is necessary to protect it from temperature fluctuations during launching, as well as to adjust the temperature of the super-chilled propellant in it. The same procedure awaits the liquid oxygen tank.

The tanks made by engineers will be installed on the SLS rocket, which will be involved in the Artemis III mission. As part of it, two astronauts will have to make a landing at the South Pole of the Moon. At the moment, the mission is scheduled for September 2026. But given the difficulties with the creation of the Starship and lunar spacesuits, as well as other problems, it is highly probable that it will be postponed to a later date in the future.

Earlier, we talked about how NASA showed the Orion spacecraft from the inside.

According to

Follow us on Twitter to get the most interesting space news in time